Before I start my blog/review of our stay at Sentido Lykia Resort and Spa I should tell you what kind of travelers my husband and I, usually, are…
Most of the time we take trips that are filled with activity, like city trips in Europe or road trips in the States. Great to broaden our horizon, not so great for catching up on sleep. This time we decided we needed some time to unwind and relax in the sun. We looked at several destinations like Spain, Greece, Morocco,… Ultimately we decided we would get the most bang for our buck in Turkey.
The exact criteria were: nice weather but not too hot, free WiFi (or included in the price…), not too crowded and the possibility of an all-inclusive stay. Eventually we booked a trip to Turkey with Pegase: one week all in at Sentido Lykia Resort and Spa in Ölüdeniz.
So before you get all Captain Obvious on me for some of my remarks or observations, this was our first all in/resort experience ever. I have to admit we had some prejudices or concerns about this type of holiday:
- I was dreading the long trip from and to the airport because of all the stops at the different hotels.
- I had no intention whatsoever to get up at 6 o’ clock in the morning to put my towel on a beach chair to assure we had a place to lounge during the day.
- I was afraid we might get a bit bored.
Now let’s see whether or not these were justified!
At Brussels Airport we had access to the Fast lane for the security check and to the lounges at the departure gates where we could help ourselves to some food, drinks and comfortable chairs. Great start! We got great seats in the first row of the plane and a nice meal. A sign of things (well, food) to come…
We booked a direct transfer from Dalaman airport to the hotel to avoid concern number 1. This was money well spent, we had a car all to ourselves, we were provided with bottles of cool water and taken swiftly to the hotel. The drive took about an hour, by the way. Of course this is a personal preference, but if we were to do this type of holiday again we would definitely book the direct transfer again.
Sentido Lykia Resort and Spa is an adults only hotel (16+), but right next to it is Liberty Lykia Holiday World, a family hotel of which we could also use all the amenities. This meant we had access to all restaurants, pools, bars,… Sentido Lykia Resort and Spa was certainly not lacking any of these, but it’s definitely a plus!
Sentido Lykia Resort and Spa has 2 pool areas, the main pool and the Blue Lagoon, which for some reason was 17+. There are plenty of chairs by the pools, and also in the “forest area” for those who prefer some more shade. There’s also beach (not a sandy one though) with plenty of chairs. Both here and at the main pool area there are bars so you can quench your thirst. For those who crave privacy there were also some cabanas which you could rent for the day: 29 euro for 4 people or 49 euro to have drinks, fruit and lunch served in your cabana. As I will mention later on, the place wasn’t too crowded so we didn’t feel the need to pay extra for this feature. However, I can imagine this could be worth it when there’s twice as many tourists.
Talking about bars… All guests at the hotel have the ultra all-inclusive stay, which includes breakfast, lunch, afternoon snacks, dinner, midnight snacks, drinks at the bar, several activities (Yoga, Zumba, Fitness,…): pretty much anything you could wish for. The meals included are buffet style at the main restaurants. Every night there’s a different theme (Turkish, Mexican,…) but there’s always plenty to choose from: hot or cold, savoury or sweet, healthy or not so healthy,…
If you want a break from the buffet there are several à la carte restaurants where you can have dinner, at an additional cost between 10 € per person and 35 € per person.
So food and drink wise all the bases are pretty much covered.
Our room was spacious and we had a view of the pool and the sea, which we paid a little extra for. The other rooms look out onto the forest.
The bed was huge and our room also had a seating area, we had an additional seating area on our balcony.
There was plenty of space to hang our clothes (we never bother to unpack because we’re used to short stays of one or two nights max, so this was new to us) and we had a safe which is quite common, but it actually worked which isn’t always the case…
I can’t elaborate on the surroundings of the hotel or the possible activities outside the hotel, simply because we didn’t leave until went back home. We did notice a lot of activity in the sky… Apparently paragliding was a huge thing there. So don’t be surprised when you look out your window and see some of these :
For more general information you should check out the website, because there’s lots to do!
Now that we’ve covered the general stuff, let’s get into our personal experience…
When we woke up on our first day we checked out our awesome view of the pool and sea to discover there were no towels on the chairs yet! So concern number 2 was quickly forgotten. Obviously this wasn’t peak season, but I was still happy to see we wouldn’t have to resort to these childish towels placement tactics… Speaking about towels, the hotel provides an unlimited supply of these, or so it seemed anyway.
The first two days were spent by the main pool, the third day we lounged by the Blue Lagoon which was even calmer. We also spent a morning at the beach area but retreated to the chairs in the forest for some shade, the sun was brutal that day!
The two days the sun didn’t come out to play as much were spent inside in one of the rooms with comfy couches.
It’s great that you have an array of locations to choose from, you can change the scenery from pool to beach to forest in a two-minute walk.
The food at the main restaurant was great and it was a nice place to sit as well, as you can see in the pictures there were several smaller dining areas so it didn’t have a canteen like feel and was actually quite cosy.
To sum up all the yummy things that were available would take us to far, let’s just say there was Turkish food as well as more international options. A huge selection of breads at every meal, fresh vegetables, etc… I didn’t really try a lot of the warm meals, when I’m out in the sun all day I prefer cold fresh food. I couldn’t resist the Turkish desserts like baklava and tulumba, but I’m a sweet tooth so they were irresistible to me!
We did make reservations at 3 of the à la carte restaurants to change things up. A whole week of 3 buffets a day sounded a bit much so we had dinner at Blue Buddha (Asian, obvs…: 10 euro pp), Teppanyaki (showcooking: 35 euro pp) and Portofino (Italian: 15 euro pp). The Asian restaurants are located in Liberty Lykia Holiday World and Portofino in Sentido Lykia Resort and Spa.
The food at these restaurants was lovely too, we especially enjoyed the Teppanyaki because of the show cooking, but the pace was ruthless… We could barely keep up with the chef! Don’t go to these restaurants to get away from the huge amounts of food at the buffet because they serve elaborate menus and big portions. That being said, it’s a nice change from the buffet dinner if you want to spend those extra euros.
Of all the possible activities we only used the fitness area. We took a peek the first day to see what kind of equipment they had and saw three treadmills and several stationary bikes and were very pleased with what we saw. (They also have a lot of strength stuff, but we didn’t use these). So when we got there the next morning and discovered that some of these were out-of-order (no sign to warn you…) we were kind of disappointed. When you have five guests who are all eager to get their cardio on, it’s a little annoying to notice that not everything works. Just put a sign on the ones that don’t work so everyone can see before they get pumped for their workout.
Every night (except Saturday) there is live entertainment by the pool, it starts at 10 o’clock and lasts about an hour and a half. Because of the location of our room which looked out on this area we heard all of this in our room, even with the windows closed. Not ideal, but I was able to sleep through it. I must say I did listen to it on purpose on Wednesday night, because that was karaoke night: holiday, free drinks (well, “included” I should say) and karaoke make for a good laugh!
Unfortunately I can also tell you about the medical staff in the hotel because my husband got sick. We called the doctor (there’s a doctor’s office in Liberty Lykia Holiday World) at 3 in the morning and she and the nurse arrived about 45 minutes later (plenty of patients in the hotel apparently). They were very friendly and helpful, they provided us with medication and followed up in their office the next day. It’s better not to get sick, especially on vacation, but we were lucky to get help so swiftly.
In the end, a week was just long enough to not get bored, we read some books and relaxed by the pool. But two weeks of this would be way too long for us.
So my 3 concerns are out the window now and this holiday gets great marks in my book!
P.S.: we didn’t bring our “real” camera, so I just took some pictures with my phone to give you an idea. Sorry for the not so great quality.